Archived 2014 discussion: Grey-winged Cotinga (Tijuca condita): uplist to Endangered?

This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.

BirdLife species factsheet for Grey-winged Cotinga

Grey-winged Cotinga Tijuca condita was thought to be restricted to the Serra dos Órgãos and the Serra do Tinguá in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro city, Brazil, where it occurs in naturally fragmented habitat, but recent surveys have doubled the known range and found the species in the Serra das Araras and at Nova Caledônia (Alves et al. 2008). It is currently listed as Vulnerable under criterion D1+2 on the basis that is has a small population, estimated at 600-1,700 mature individuals, and is restricted to fewer than six locations.

This species’s Extent of Occurrence (EOO) was previously estimated at c.3,400 km2. However, the extent of suitable habitat has recently been estimated as low as c.200 km2 (S. Pimm, M. A. Alvez and C. Jenkins in litt. 2012). If confirmed, the Area of Occupancy (AOO) would fall below the threshold for Endangered, even if every 2x2km square within the 200 km2 were occupied. In addition, the species is likely to be much rarer than previously thought (S. Pimm, M. A. Alvez and C. Jenkins in litt. 2012) and new population estimates should reflect the lower range estimates. Both disturbance and fires caused by hikers have been considered potential threats to the habitat of this species. The newly discovered population at Nova Caledônia is more accessible and susceptible to disturbance, and logging is a potential concern here. In September 1993, a major forest fire was noted in or adjacent to Serra dos Órgãos National Park, indicating that this threat could be particularly significant. Similarly, a major forest fire burned at least 25% of suitable habitat at Nova Caledônia in 2011 (J. King in litt. 2012).

If it is confirmed that this species’s AOO is less than 500 km2, the extent and quality of suitable habitat is declining, and the species occurs at no more than five locations and/or is severely fragmented, the Grey-winged Cotinga would qualify for uplisting to Endangered under criterion B2ab(i,ii,iii) of the IUCN Red List.

Further information is requested on this species’s range, distribution and level of threat, and comments on the proposed uplisting are welcome.


Alves, M. A. S., Pimm, S. L., Storni, A., Raposo, M. A., Brooke, M. de L., Harris, G., Foster, A. and Jenkins, C. M. (2008) Mapping and exploring the distribution of the vulnerable grey-winged cotinga Tijuca condita. Oryx 42(4): 562-566.

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5 Responses to Archived 2014 discussion: Grey-winged Cotinga (Tijuca condita): uplist to Endangered?

  1. Stuart Pimm says:

    In addition to the concerns over this species’ tiny range, it is restricted to the highest elevations of the forest. We know elsewhere that bird species are moving upslope as the climate warms. This species’ range would be even more severely restricted were such changes to occur in this region — as they surely will.

  2. Andy Foster says:

    Interesting comment Stuart, when we first discovered this species at Caladonia back in 2003 we were regularly seeing it at an altitude of approx 1600m in the winter months, and up to 2000m in the summer months, very rarely above this. Interestingly this summer (October through to March) we have been seeing it at the very top of caladonia, right up by the aerials at 2300m, this is a first for us in the last 10 years. Again, the concern of fire in this area could be a major threat, the big fire from 2011 pushed the cotinga away from the area for a couple of months.

  3. Andy Foster says:

    The Cotingas continue to be resident in the Caladonia area, with what appears to be at least 4 pairs holding territories over the past few months. Logging within the Caladonia area does not appear to be a threat, only eucalyptus plantations in the lower areas at Caladonia but far enough away and well below the prime altitude for the Cotingas. Fire still remains a threat as the area is heavily visited during holiday season and at the weekend by hikers etc.

  4. Andy Symes says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information and comments posted above, our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List would be to treat Grey-winged Cotinga Tijuca condita as Vulnerable under criteria D1+2.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 March, after which recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  5. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there has been no change to our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List status of this species.

    The final categorisation will be published later in 2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessment by BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.